Most of us have had the common experience of finding ourselves lost in a large shopping mall. Many of us, (especially men) refuse to ask for directions seeking to find our own way. Fortunately, there is salvation in a board in the middle of the mall, the mall directory. The colorful schematic gives us the “big picture” of where we are in relation to where we want to be. The key to this map is the big red star or dot that says, “You are here.” It helps us to understand where we are in the grand scheme of things.
What a tremendous illustration this is in regards to the “big picture” of life. Most of us are in the middle of life, not knowing where we are going, yet refusing to ask for help. Yet, there is a “directory” in the Bible found in the book of Romans. Passages in this book tell us where we are in relation to God and how we can “find our way” to him. We can understand why we need salvation, how God provided it, how we can receive it, and what the eternal results are.
Romans 3:23 tells us, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Plain and simple we all fall short. We have sinned and are not right before God. We were in right standing, but our sin has separated us from that perfect relationship with God. No one is innocent.
Romans 6:23 tell us the consequences of that sin. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The punishment for this sin is death, a death that encompasses both physical and spiritual death, eternal separation from God. We do, however have a choice, and that is the free gift of eternal life because of Jesus Christ.
Romans 5:8 adds to this, “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” The reason that we can have this eternal gift is because Jesus paid the price. Through His death He cancelled out the wages of sin. Wow! This is a gift, which was given while we were sinners, in spite of the fact that we were so undeserving. The resurrection of Jesus from the dead is assurance that Christ’s payment was acceptable to God.
How do we receive that gift? Well, Romans 10:9-10 promises, “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” We have a part to play in this process. We need to believe and declare it, and we are able to have this eternal gift.
What is the result? Romans 5:1 assures us, “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” There is no more death. Our relationship with God has been restored through Christ. We have a peaceful relationship with God once again rather than one of hostility.
The benefits are great. Romans 8:1 assures “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” We are clean before God as a result of the work of Christ. And that is secure. Romans 8:38-39 give us that assurance, “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
It’s clear. It’s simple. It is direct. And it is Eternal.
As you stand looking in the big mall of your life, “Where are you?”
My prayer is that “You are here” right in the middle of salvation through Jesus Christ.